Now, I know what you are about to say…two years old isn’t really a #TBT but I think that Abrams is a hugely understated and almost unheard of artist over here in the UK considering his releases in 2012. I met him going down to Cornwall back in 2008 and we sat together, a big group of us, on the train with Casey playing guitar and all of us attempting to sing Tenacious D. Abrams then slightly fell of the radar for all of us who met him back in 2008, until 2010 when sitting in a bar in Bangkok we saw a familiar bearded face singing songs in one of the later stages of American Idol!
His first album release in 2012 did well in the US charts topping 4,000 sales in the first week and in 2013 had sold a solid 27,000 copies in the US alone. Now obviously this seems low in comparison to huge ‘Pop’ and ‘EDM’ artists releases, but it’s a cracking effort for a ‘before 2012’ relatively unknown jazz/rock/blues player.
‘Casey Abrams’ became one of my most listened to albums of 2012 and still today I love how he has mixed both up beat, thought provoking and playful sounds in one impressive debut album. The first track ‘Simple Life’ became one of my favourites.
It seems to have the right formula for an easy listen but something to tap your foot along too as well. Abrams vocals start the track with and a funky double bass line and mid tempo beat follow us through till the end. I really like Abrams epic ‘scat’ vocals mid-way through the song, where else can you hear jazz ‘scat’ vocals in a main stream pop song?
One of Abrams biggest hits to date is ‘Get Out’. This song shouts out summer time, with its catchy riff and abundance of handclaps it’s a really easy listen and memorable. One thing that does stick out on this track is although from face value the track is happy and ‘fun’ the undertone is something slightly darker.
We then see Abrams musical ability with his soft-rock track ‘Great Bright Morning’ to then jumping back to some jazzy bluesy numbers like ‘Blame it On Me’ and ‘Dry Spell’.
Great Bright Morning
Blame It On Me
What can be seen throughout the album is Abrams ability whichever genre a track is based upon to have a catchy and upbeat poppy underlying injection that’s both refreshing and admirable. By admirable I mean he is taking genres that the masses may not necessarily listen to and makes them accessible.
Something that I haven’t yet touched on is Abrams vocal ability, and it really is monumental. He manages to portray in his voice all the emotions he sings about, through gravelly draws to hitting both the high notes and smashing out the lows…..perfectly. It’s already been commented on in the past by other reviewers about how good he is. So many artists in the charts have to use auto tune, have to rely on public image, causing controversy and massive production scales to stay at the top or even be notice. Abrams can leave all of that behind because of one simple truth…he can actually sing. I think its testament to an artist when they can hold their own on stage and sound note perfect like they do on an album.
Give this guy a listen, if you love it grab the album, its one to listen to if you need picking up or need a bit of a chillout…either way I think it’s a corker!